Miss World Through The Years

A look back at the rich history of the Miss World competition.

EDGAR staff December 18, 2014

Earlier this week, a new Miss World was crowned. In a glitzy finale to a gruelling competition that saw some 120 international contestants descend on London, 22-year-old South African Rolene Strauss took the title of Miss World 2014.

Since the competition began in 1951, there have been 64 Miss Worlds, including three Americans, five Brits and five Indians (two of whom – Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai – have gone on to become Bollywood stars), but the place that has won the most titles is the South American country of Venezuela, with an impressive six past winners.

Starting with the inaugural competition in London, which was actually called the Festival Bikini Contest, the first two pageants were both won by Swedes, Kiki Håkansson and May-Louise Flodin.

Interestingly, after Strauss was crowned as the 64th Miss World, it was also announced that as of next year, one of the former cornerstones of the competition – the bikini round – will no longer be included.

Miss World is now much more than just a beauty contest, and the competition judges the contestants on a whole range of criteria, including athletic and academic ability, modelling, unique talent, being charitable and being multimedia-savvy.